James Jones Column: An apology Selma High missing playoffs

Published 5:47 am Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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Selma High School football fans are due my sincere apologies. Please forgive me for this playoff chaos that left Selma out of the playoffs when I, like many others thought the Saints were in. Former players, coaches, and fans asked me across town if I was going to the Saints’ playoff game.  

When Selma spanked Jemison 42-18 on Oct. 20 at Memorial Stadium, I assumed the Saints earned a 5A state playoff bid. Selma qualified as the fourth seed in Region 5, Class 5A by virtue of its head-to-head victory over Marbury. 

As ESPN’s College Gameday co-host Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast, my friend.” 

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What I did not take into account was a complicated three-way tiebreaker scenario between Shelby County, Marbury, and Selma for the last two playoff spots.  All three teams have 2-3 Region 3, 5A records and were 1-1 against each other.

 -Selma beat Marbury but lost to Shelby County.

-Shelby County beat Selma but lost to Marbury.

-Marbury beat Shelby County but lost to Selma.

Tie-breaker L decided the Saints’ fate when Marbury lost to Chilton County and Shelby County fell at Woodlawn. Selma lost to Charles Henderson-Troy the week before.

The playoff spots were settled by the TieBreaker Q coin flip because the three teams each will have won 2 games, none out of the region and none of the three beat the other two.

Marbury won the coin toss for the third spot. Since Shelby County beat Selma, they took the fourth and final spot.

A coin toss, the way I see it, should not determine a playoff berth. I’d recommend a tiebreaker based on point differential. In my scenario, the Saints would be left out. I don’t have an issue with Tie-Breaker A, which determined the fourth seed, head-to-head between two teams.

For Saints fans, players, and parents, I am sorry we went through this ordeal. I felt as bad when Selma did not make the postseason play.